In today’s business environment, the workplace can be anywhere. But when employees are working in an office, how the office is designed carries a lot of weight. A new report by Continental Office reveals 23% of the workforce say the physical environment affects their decision to stay with or leave an organization.
Office Design Can Attract Employees — and Help Keep Them
If one in four of potential hires place so much importance on the environment in which they work, businesses of all sizes must do all they can to make workplaces as comfortable as possible. This is especially important in today’s tight labor market, which is still experiencing a declining unemployment rate.
For small businesses looking to attract the best talent, simply making the working environment flexible and comfortable can be an added value. According to Continental Office, the workspace should be used as a recruitment tool to attract employees and retain them.
In a recent press release, Continental Office CEO, Ira Sharfin explains how the physical workspace affects workers — including attracting them in the first place. Sharfin says, “To attract today’s top talent, you need to provide choice and flexibility in workplace settings.”
He adds, “What’s really striking is we’ve found that nearly a quarter of today’s workforce says the physical workplace affects their decision to stay/leave, which is very costly both financially and talent-wise. As leaders, it’s important for us to disrupt and take risks. The old ways of working aren’t helping any of us attract today’s top talent.”
The survey was carried out with the participation of 262 currently employed respondents, many from the Architecture and Design industry at 27% and facilities and project management sector at 24%. This included CEOs and C-Level executives, directors, managers and associates.
According to the survey, associates want the right technology, better communication, a healthy workplace along with flexible settings and spaces.
When it comes to the space in which employees want to work, 88% said they value options providing privacy. This includes 71% who indicated they desire settings that provide fluidity so they can have a choice in where they sit.
Flexibility is an important factor for workers across all levels as 87% of employees would like settings such as workshops, meeting rooms, private spaces, social areas and more.
What’s more, 85% of respondents want a collaborative work environment while 82% want engaging work.
One of the most telling results from the survey was how critical the physical environment in which employees work has become to their overall state of mind. When asked to rate the importance of a workspace to their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, most ranked it an 8.
Whether your employees spend eight hours a day in the office or have a flexible working arrangement, making it a place they enjoy is becoming increasingly important.
You can download the full report here (PDF).
Image: Continental Office